SANTIAGO – Latin American imports of laminated steel from China between January and August climbed to 5.4 million tons, up 54 percent from the same eight-month period of last year, the Latin American Steel Association (Alacero) said in a report released Wednesday.
Brazil was the main Latin American market for Chinese laminated steel, representing 25 percent of all imports, while Chile and Central America accounted for 15 percent and 14 percent, respectively.
Alacero’s report said the countries that posted the biggest year-on-year increases in laminated steel imports from China between January and August were Paraguay, up 182 percent; Mexico, up 144 percent; Argentina, up 114 percent; and Colombia, up 101 percent.
Flat steel accounted for 67 percent (3.7 million tons) of Latin America’s steel imports from the Asian giant between January and August 2014.
Within this sub-group, a total of 1.4 million tons of sheets and coils from different steel alloys, 739,910 tons of hot dip galvanized sheets and 736,939 tons of cold-rolled steel coils were imported.
In addition, 1.4 million tons of long steel were imported from China during that same period, including 757,855 tons of wire rod and 524,399 tons of bars.
The Latin American market did not grow substantially year-on-year in the January-August period, meaning that steel imports from China are replacing local production and intra-regional trade, the statement said.
In that regard, imports of Chinese laminated steel supplied 12 percent of Latin America’s total consumption, compared with 7.5 percent in the first eight months of 2013, according to Santiago-based Alacero, which called on regional governments to take immediate action in response to the competition from the Asian giant.